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Thread: Initial Impressions

  1. #1
    EGW is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2011 Posts: 42

    Initial Impressions

    So after that last somewhat cryptic post, I feel the need to make a more substantive contribution to the forum. We arrived Sunday, and here’s what I’m seeing so far...
    July on the island keeps getting busier every year. We’ve been coming in the summer since 2005, and SBH is definitely not the sleepy place it used to be at this time of year. Be that as it may, things are nowhere near the crowds of December through early March. As indicated elsewhere on the Forum, there’s a ridiculous amount of construction going on— businesses, villas and roads. The journey from L’Orient to Gustavia has become a gauntlet of “deviations” and one-way stoplights. Then again, I’m not in a hurry, so who cares? Besides, it gives me time to work on my fractured French, courtesy of Radio St Barth.
    For beaches, we’ve checked out L’Orient, St Jean and Saline so far. St Jean was fairly busy, L’Orient not, and both sagassum-free. Saline was loaded with the weed, but a very serious guy on a very large Kubota took care of business in a couple of hours yesterday. Sadly, the machine can’t get at the far east end (over the rocks) where the Sagassum is feet thick. After the clean-up, Saline was back to her gorgeous self, with only a dozen or so lucky beachgoers there to enjoy her.
    The weather continues hot and dry, with the usual haze from Saharan dust. No rain as yet—too bad, since the island is dry as a chip and the cisterns are getting low. Hopefully, rain will come soon. The ocean and villa pools are almost the temperature of warm baths, prefect for those of us still recovering from a long Midwest winter.
    Two restaurants thus far—Langouste and Bagatelle. A few days ago, Langouste got slammed pretty hard by a previous poster. Interestingly, we had a great meal there—grilled lobster (why else would you go?) and tuna tartare. Yes, the service was slow at times, but you’re on vacation in St Barth, so sit back, have another glass of wine, and chill out (and put down the d—n cell phone). Bagatelle was outstanding—We went around 7:30, sat outside, and had the place to ourselves for most of the meal. The foie starter and Cote de Boeuf were just about the best I’ve had. Incredibly beautiful setting. BTW, the Tuesday prix fixe with wine pairings is back on, so we may have to check that out.
    Finally, kudos to Rosita, villa owner extraordinaire, for loaning us such a beautiful place in paradise.
    More to follow.

  2. #2
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,042

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Nice report. You might want to jump on Maya's summer 65euro dinner. We have been twice and each 3 course meal was superb.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    bkeats is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Nuevo York Posts: 608

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Spot on EGW. We had a few days of rain while we were there over the last two weeks which were lovely. You must have arrived as we were leaving. Good for you, sad for me. Have a great time.

    I second Amy's recommendation for Maya's prix fixe. Was our parting dinner on Saturday. Had a "conversation" with the hostess that took me to the limits of my fractured French when she greeted us. After a bonsoir and comment t'allez vous, I managed a quick response of cava bien, mais malheursement nous parton a demain. Got a few more sentences in before my volcabulary was exhausted. But my wife was suitable impressed. Amazing what listening to the radio can do to reawaken lost skills.

  4. #4
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,163

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Thanks for sharing your initial impressions, EGW. It gives me a clearer picture of what I should expect in a week or so.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  5. #5
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,089

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Glad so much of the construction is being done at a non peak time.
    What seasonality is there of the sargassum, if any? How does sargassum compare to red tide in Florida?
    Glad La Langouste has overcome their 'slam!" Agree- what else would you order there? Although their Dover Sole, when they have it, is delish!

  6. #6
    EGW is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2011 Posts: 42

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Another day on Saline. Sagassum a little worse today, but tractor guy is not giving up.
    If that thing can plow snow, I want one.
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    Regarding all the construction activity behind the dunes, they’re buttressing the land side with truckloads of rock. Although there were some concerns expressed about this in a recent thread, it doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. (No Club Med going up there yet.)Name:  AE51EEAC-58CA-4E75-9D59-69A562649079.jpg
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    Thanks to Amy and bkeats for the Maya’s suggestion. At the risk of triggering another food fight, I’ll simply say that I’ve not been overly impressed on previous visits, but maybe its time for another try.

    Gotta go— Time for my Ti Punch (only for medicinal purposes, of course)

  7. #7
    GeorgeD is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2002 pittsburgh Posts: 289

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Thanks for the excellent picture of the Saline reinforcement work. That picture says it all. So much more that we could see from looking through the brush.

  8. #8
    Izzy is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2016 Posts: 520

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by EGW View Post
    Another day on Saline...Regarding all the construction activity behind the dunes, they’re buttressing the land side with truckloads of rock..No Club Med going up there yet...
    Interesting to see the progress made by comparing a photo from March (initially posted in this thread) and your photo:

    March 2019:
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    July 2019:
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    Even if it were a Club Med, the threat would not seem imminent...

  9. #9
    EGW is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jul 2011 Posts: 42

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Wow. That really shows how much they’ve built that up. Thanks for adding the “before”. I don’t think they’re finished yet, either. On our way out of Saline, we passed a steady stream of large dump trucks hauling more stone to the site.

  10. #10
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 891

    Re: Initial Impressions

    Hopefully there will be more material brought in to increase the depth of the berm. also a replanting of at least native vegetation. Appears to me a large storm could breach what has been installed. We love swimming and relaxing at Saline.

  11. #11
    steelpe is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 404

    Re: Initial Impressions

    You can just bury palm trees like that without damaging them?

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